The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) — a multi-year plan of capital projects ranging from $50,000 or greater that each have an extensive financing plan to fund future endeavors — was discussed and approved unanimously during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The proposed 2024 budget presentation for City Council and public hearing highlighted the budget plan of a $5.8 million classification and job compensation study implementation.
New smartphone device systems for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Emergency Communication services, an additional fire station, a kid’s splash pool and restroom additions at Riven Rock are among the projects proposed by the CIP plan.
“We are not only removing hazards but we are increasing efficiency, potentially increasing revenues here and it’s a new service [that] is absolutely a convenience in this area,” Adam Fletcher, director of the Department of Community Development and Harrisonburg Planning Commission, said.
Throughout a five-year planning period (2023-27), a CIP plan will be prepared annually to simplify planning and to determine priority among capital improvement needs, Fletcher said. The CIP plan is intended to identify projects for all city agencies as well as Harrisonburg City Public Schools. Funding specifics were discussed for a majority of the meeting.
After key issues in the proposal were discussed during the hearing, Fletcher said the CIP isn’t a budget and the incorporation of projects in the proposal doesn’t ensure they’ll be funded as stated. The city’s allocation of funding for capital items will occur with the passing of the yearly budget for each fiscal year.
The CIP isn’t a fixed plan, Fletcher said. It’s part of a yearly plan and program, in which every year expenditures, requirements and funding sources are reassessed in order to maintain the five-year projection, as a year is added.
According to the CIP, several of the plans, for which funding is either being sought out or it’s already set, will start construction or undergo renovations in the next few years.
“Each week, I am more amazed by how efficient our city is run,” City Council member Monica Robinson said about the five-year financing plan. “This is a very efficient running machine, and there may be some parts that need a little bit of extra oil every now and then, but for the most part, I’m very impressed.”
The next city council meeting is scheduled for April 25 at 7 p.m.